Dark and strange times call for dark and strange measures. In the middle of World War II, with no end in sight, Allied forces came up with some very strange plots to try to bring down Hitler. It’s uncertain if a rather sexist plot could have quelled the deaths of more than 60 million during the war, but it is interesting to contemplate. Allied spies wanted to give the dictator female sex hormones. They thought it might calm him down.
A study at the time by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (the organization that came before the CIA) claimed that on the gender spectrum, Adolf Hitler was near the middle—”close to the male-female line,” wrote the OSS’s director of research and development, Stanley Lovell. The Allies then decided if they could tip him over the line into “female” territory, he would lose his hold on Germany and the war could be won.
Rumors also often floated around about Hitler’s sexuality. Since hormone therapy research was in the beginning stages, people also thought the hormone could swing him in the direction of homosexual, and again, possibly make him less aggressive. This was all due to the rumor, since disproven, that one of Hitler’s testicles was blown off during his service in World War I. At the very least, there were hopes that the hormones might cause his voice to increase in pitch, perhaps making him a laughing stock in his own country, or that he might even grow breasts.
Hitler had much more embarrassing problems already than potentially sprouting breasts. He had chronic flatulence. He took a myriad of medications to fight it. He also had an irrational fear of cats. More seriously though, his people never actually elected him. He lost the presidential election, but the Nazi party formed a coalition that got them enough seats to demand the position of Chancellor for Hitler. In the midst of death and war, it does seem becoming more feminine might be the least of his problems.
Nonetheless, agents planned to put estrogen in his food. They thought it could turn him into a more docile creature. His sister, Paula, was said to have a docile personality and worked as a secretary. She was actually Hitler’s only sibling to survive to adulthood. Hitler gave her financial support until his suicide in 1945.
It’s a bit unclear on what the ultimate end goal was with the estrogen plan, and exactly how a feminized Hitler would help Allied forces, but this plan still floated around for quite awhile, and at the time sex therapy was becoming popular in London.